Earlier this year, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced that the Bluetooth® community would once again be changing the way we connect to the world around us. With the release of LE Audio, the next generation of Bluetooth audio will significantly enhance audio performance. Now, one eagerly anticipated feature of LE Audio is here.

Higher Quality and Lower Power

For years, developers have created some amazing innovations within the parameters of the SBC codec, but the Low Complexity Communications Codec (LC3) is opening new opportunities to expand the limits of wireless audio.

LC3 is a new low-power audio codec that provides high-quality audio even at low data rates. This brings tremendous flexibility to developers, allowing them to make better design tradeoffs between key product attributes, such as audio quality and power consumption.

According to Nick Hunn from WiFore Consulting, the LC3 is more efficient, uses less power, and has lower latency, taking only 20 milliseconds to code, transmit, and decode. “The codec is a really important part of any wireless system for audio,” said Hunn. “It has the job of compressing the audio signal into something much smaller, so you can send it over a wireless link, and then at the other end it decodes it, which turns it back into music without any loss of quality. We’ve been very lucky to have companies that are highly expert in codec design, helping us to develop the new Bluetooth codec.”

“…this new codec is really exciting, because technology has advanced tremendously over the past decade, and we now have a codec with the same quality as SBC but requiring only half the airtime. That brings benefits by reducing the amount of battery capacity that needs to be allocated to the radio, which in turn translates to users experiencing all-day runtime in a smaller form factor or not having to deal with bulky earbuds.” 
– Peter Liu

The LC3 Difference

Fraunhofer IIS’s Head of Low Delay Audio Coding Group Markus Schnell says that LC3 will upgrade Bluetooth® headsets to the latest in state-of-the-art audio quality and has already been deployed in HD Voice+ VoLTE networks. Here, the introduction of the Enhanced Voice Services (EVS) standard audio codec brought a new level of speech and audio quality to mobile services. This level can now be delivered through Bluetooth accessories as well.

It cuts the data rate by half, which leads to longer battery life or the ability to develop smaller devices.

For music, LC3 solves two fundamental quality challenges: All kinds of audio can be transmitted with excellent quality, and it cuts the data rate by half, which leads to longer battery life or the ability to develop smaller devices. “Extensive listening tests have shown that LC3 will provide improvements in audio quality over the SBC codec included with Classic Audio, even at a 50% lower bit rate,” said Schnell. “Developers will be able to leverage these power savings to create products that can provide longer battery life or, in cases where current battery life is enough, reduce the form factor by using a smaller battery.”

A Better User Experience

From power savings to audio quality to improved usability, developers can use LC3 to significantly enhance the user experience. Higher audio quality at half the bit rate translates to half the power. Developers can leverage the power savings to design products that provide longer battery life or, in cases where current battery life is enough, reduce the form factor by using a smaller battery. It will also enable standardized support for Bluetooth® technology within hearing aids and enable people with hearing loss to realize the same benefits of Bluetooth audio enjoyed by users of standard Bluetooth headphones and earbuds, including wireless calling, listening, and watching.

The release of LC3 represents the completion of the second of the three key building blocks. Hear for yourself how LC3 will raise the bar for Bluetooth audio quality.

INTRODUCING

Bluetooth Audio Codec Demonstration

A key component of LE Audio is now available. LC3 is a new low-power audio codec that provides high quality even at low data rates.

HEAR FOR YOURSELF

LE Audio Adds Support for Hearing Aids and Introduces a Major Audio Innovation

Recently, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced the completion of the long-anticipated LE…

MDHearing Outlines the Benefits of Auracast™ Broadcast Audio for People With Hearing Loss

Founded 13 years ago by a Chicago-based ENT, MDHearing strives to deliver high-quality, affordable…

Industry Experts Provide a Detailed Look At Auracast™ Broadcast Audio

Earlier this year, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) released the full suite of…

Strength-of-Fit Adoption for Auracast Broadcast Audio By Use Case

Auracast™ broadcast audio will enable all types of public locations – from small establishments…

Nordic Demonstrates Auracast™ Broadcast Audio

Watch Nordic Semiconductor’s Vince Hagen describe the demonstration of Auracast™ broadcast audio Nordic shared…

A First Look at Assistive Listening with Auracast™ Broadcast Audio

Watch Dr. Sandra Porps, MDHearing Head of Audiology, describe one of the first demonstrations…

The Impact of LE Audio and Auracast™ Broadcast Audio on Bluetooth® Enabled Hearing Aids

Watch Doug Beaker, CEO of the largest direct-to-consumer seller of hearing aids in the…

Next Generation Audio Accessibility with LE Audio and Auracast™ Broadcast Audio

Watch the Bluetooth SIG’s Chuck Sabin outline the new features of Bluetooth® LE Audio,…

Full LE Audio Specification Crosses the Finish Line

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced the completion of the specifications for LE…

Sizing the Opportunity for Auracast™ Broadcast Audio in Public Locations

Featuring data and research from Strategy Analytics, this report helps readers and decision makers…

Bluetooth audio’s biggest upgrade in years is coming soon to headphones

We’re on the cusp of a new generation of wireless headphones that are more…

LE Audio Through A Technical Lens

The word ‘Bluetooth’ has for a long time been synonymous with wireless audio playback…

Packetcraft And ESPICO Accelerate Development Of Bluetooth LE Audio Devices On Arm

The technology we use in our homes and pockets today allows effortless access to…

Bluetooth SIG Announces Auracast™ Broadcast Audio, Allowing Unlimited Audio Sharing to Earbuds, Speakers or Hearing Devices

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the trade association that oversees Bluetooth® technology, today…

Auracast is coming to Bluetooth, boosting movement, inclusion, and participation for hearing device users

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the standards mover and shaker for the short-range…

2022 Bluetooth Market Update

Featuring new market insights and industry forecasts from ABI Research and other analyst firms...

The Future Of Sound: Envisioning The Ecosystem Of Bluetooth LE Audio

When the Bluetooth 4.0 specification was released, Bluetooth Smart (now Bluetooth Low Energy (LE))…

Introducing Bluetooth® LE Audio

Now available for free digital download, get your copy of this in-depth, technical overview of the LE Audio specifications.

The 2021 State of Sound Report

The State of Sound Report is an annual study featuring research insights based on…

Bluetooth® Core Specification Version 5.3 Feature Enhancements

Bluetooth® Core Specification version 5.3 includes several feature enhancements with the potential to improve…

2021 Bluetooth Market Update

Supported by updated forecasts from ABI Research and insights from several other analyst firms, the Bluetooth Market Update highlights the latest Bluetooth trends and forecasts.

 Get Help